A Book of Burlesque: Sketches of English Stage Travestie and Parody

A Book of Burlesque: Sketches of English Stage Travestie and Parody

William Davenport Adams

History / Biography

“Self-respect: The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.”—page 70 Why is it that when reading Mencken one feels that they’d be more comfortable if they were wearing a flak jacket? Once again, in his ‘A Book of Burlesques,’ Mencken, the master of irreverence, gives forth a collection of philosophical sayings running the gamut from downright boring to uproariously hilarious. Now I’m looking forward to reading his ‘In Defense of Women.’ I’m sure that women-hood will never be in more need of defending than after reading what H. L. has to say in their defense. Recommendation: ‘A Book of Burlesques’ offers a glimpse into the warped mind of Mencken. That may not be everyone’s cup of pomegranate wine. Read at your own risk. “Man weeps to think that he will die so soon. Woman, that she was born so long ago.”—page 72 Excerpt from "A Book of Burlesque By William Davenport Adams": Shall I to Honor or to Love give way? Go on, cries Honor; tender Love says, Nay; Honor aloud commands, Pluck both boots on; But softer Love does whisper, Put on none. In the end, he "goes out hopping, with one boot on, and t\'other off." Again, there was a passage in the drama called "The Villain," in which the host supplied his guests with a collation out of his clothes--a capon from his helmet, cream out of his scabbard, and so on. In like manner, Pallas, in Mr. Bayes\'s tragedy, furnishes forth the two usurping kings:-- Lo, from this conquering lance Does flow the purest wine of France: And to appease your hunger, I Have in my helmet brought a pie; Lastly, to bear a part with these, Behold a buckler made of cheese. Of the direct parody in the burlesque a few instances will suffice.
Read online
  • 372